Writing > Writing—Unhinged—A Haiku Tsunami


When visiting Japan I observed a cultural dichotomy that was evident in the art, architecture, fashion, and music, as the old bumped up against the new to form a co-existence that is held in reverence and wonder by the Japanese people. As I wandered the streets of Kyoto and Tokyo, I was aware of the vibrancy of the culture and the people, and how nature and cities have merged with a bond that has become an integral part of the national spirit.

These haiku represent my observations of Japanese culture—how aesthetics are ingrained in the ordinary, and how a 21st Century society honors its past while hurtling at the speed of the Shinkansen toward the future.

Japanese Kitchen 懐石 Wakuriya
Japanese Kitchen 懐石 Wakuriya

Japanese Kitchen 懐石 Wakuriya
sunrise sashimi
miso mochi shitake
red laquer sunset

The Color of Wind 風 Kaze no iro
the color of wind
turns cobalt under the sea
green fish kiss the sky

Harmony 和 Wa
air fire earth water
join to greet the bamboo sky
harmony in tune

Winter Wrapping コモ巻き Komomaki
roots search for water
tentative limbs tied and bound
fall leaves turn to dust

Autumn Leaves 紅葉 Kōyō
leaves grow, fall and die
the brief cycle never ends
but pauses for rain

The Way of the Kami 神 Kannagara No Michi
A Shinto priest asks
is Christ mortal or kami
a Buddhist nun smiles

The Space Between 間 Ma
A sound caught between
hollow pitched ringing bells
bends but doesn’t break

100 Yen 百円硬貨 Hyaku-en kōka
Fanta Skal Match Boss
the slack day sun bites my tongue
for one hundred yen